House Sitters

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 05, 2014 at 18:13
ThreadID: 106098 Views:1500 Replies:3 FollowUps:0
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Yes I have searched but want recent f/b.

We have committed to a trip from mid May of the beginning of July ~6 weeks but have just found that the person who has house minded for us many times before is no longer available - went to Canada on holiday and stayed.

We live in a rural area and need a minder to live in and keep the basics under control around the place - not hard. We have a dog who would prefer to stay at home rather than in a kennel - getting a bit old and set in her ways.

I have looked at the following websites

www.houseminders.com.au
www.trustedhousesitters.com
www.mindahome.com.au
www.aussiehousesitters.com.au

They all have different methods with the first seemingly doing more work to match requirements.

Does anyone have any strong + or - recommendations about the above sites or others that they have direct personal experience. Any other polite suggestions welcomed.

cheers
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Reply By: Shaker - Wednesday, Feb 05, 2014 at 19:32

Wednesday, Feb 05, 2014 at 19:32
I have used at least 3 of those sites & had no problems, I can't see how the site can hurt you, it's up to you to vet the prospective sitters.
We have used sitters for our rural acreage & have never had an issue.
My only concern for you is that you may have left it a bit late, the good sitters are very busy & booked well in advance.
As matter of interest what area are you in?
AnswerID: 525805

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, Feb 05, 2014 at 20:45

Wednesday, Feb 05, 2014 at 20:45
Hi Alastair,

We too have rural acreage, a few cattle and an older and rather indulged Border Collie. We always use house sitters while we are away, and make contact via the aussiehousesitters site. While its true that many sitters are booked up months, even years in advance, we have on one occasion found a local (Canberra) sitter on 24 hours notice, and last year we found sitters at fairly short notice who were prepared to come to Canberra in winter.

We write up a couple of pages about ourselves, our place and what we want done, not glossing over anything. We then go through the list of available sitters, choosing a dozen or more who look suitable. We make contact via the website, sending them the info about us. Last year we had many knock-backs (because it was shortish notice, winter etc) but we ended up with a couple of possible sitters who were willing. These we contacted via Skype and had a chat (ie an informal interview) and finally made our decision about who we would choose. Every sit has turned out really well, even though some of the sitters have been new to housesitting - we just trust our gut instincts and it usually works out.

There are many sitters who have tight schedules and if we are unsure about our travel dates (especially when we will return) we prefer to go with someone who has some flexibility, even if they are less "experienced" (but anyone who has their own home is experienced I think). We also like someone who has some experience with dogs and cattle, and who knows about living on acres, with water tanks, pumps, septic systems and the like.

Give it a try - who you choose is up to you. If you don't find anyone you like you don't have to use them.

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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Reply By: Ian and Pen - Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 at 08:50

Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 at 08:50
Hi Alister

We have had house sitters for a few yrs usually the same ones, never a problem with our 3 dogs, cat, chooks. We may be able to introduce you to a guy who is returning from the USA in may to live in Gundagai if you are interested. Have a look in the members list and drop me an email.

Ian
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